Learn about how we build community

Learn together. Explore your passions. Develop lifelong relationships.

The Honors College is committed to providing a rich, shared community experience to all students, whether you plan to live on campus, nearby, or further afield. You will make friends who will stay with you through your time at Mason and long after. You will be mentored and supported by professor, advisors, and student leaders. You will join student organizations, meet people from around the world, and pursue opportunities that shape your future.

The Honors College Learning Community Experience

Building a strong community is key to the Honors College experience. The Honors College helps you build a sense of community with other students, your faculty, and even alumni.

Incoming Honors College students living on campus are required to live in the First-Year Honors Learning Community or one of the following Interest/Identity Learning Communities:

  • Creativity, design and expression
  • LGBTQ+
  • Peace and Conflict
  • Well-Being
Regardless of which Learning Community you join, as a first year student, you will:
  • Get to know your Peer Mentors. All first-year Honors College students will have an assigned Honors College Peer Mentor. These upper division student leaders spent last semester planning programs that foster community, and they are hard at work now, tweaking those plans and developing new programs that will be suited to our new circumstances.
  • Learn about opportunities through the HNRS 110 Colloquium. Through the Colloquium, you’ll learn about opportunities for undergraduate research, civic and community engagement, and professional development. You’ll interact with esteemed Mason faculty, student leaders, and members of the Northern Virginia business community — in small groups, designed for conversation.
  • Come together with your classmates in HNRS 110.  The core of the shared Honors College first-year experience is this course. You will work closely with an outstanding faculty member and 19 classmates to pursue questions that you develop. You’ll learn that research isn’t a solo activity; you’ll support and be supported by your peers throughout the semester in 110, and some of your closest relationships will be born here.
  • Make connections in the First Year Learning Community. Students in the First Year Learning Community have social and academic enrichment activities that help bring them together and have the shared experience of their first year at college together.
Throughout your time in the Honors College, you will:
  • Connect through social and co-curricular programs. You will have opportunities to connect with faculty and fellow students through our robust programming, such as:

    • Honoring Our Community Group. We have organized a monthly program in which small groups meet with a faculty facilitator to discuss how to cultivate an anti-racist community. 
    • First Tuesdays speaker series. One of our professors has invited prominent politicians, political strategists, reporters, and more to discuss the election as part of a weekly speaker series. 
    • Research Exhibitions. We showcase student research at twice-annual Honors College research exhibitions and support additional exhibitions hosted by the Office for Student Scholarship and Creative Activities (OSCAR) and other colleges and schools. 
    • Honors College Student Advisory Board game nights. The HCSAB represents Honors College student interests. It also hosts social events like game nights.
  • Hear from illustrious alumni. Several times a semester, we invite some of our illustrious alumni to network with with current students and share their experiences after graduation.
  • Immerse yourself in the Honors College by joining one of our student organizations. Mason has more than 400+ student organizations, many of which are comprised mostly or entirely of Honors College students. Learn more about some of these opportunities: